The Samajwadi Party found itself in the middle of an unwanted controversy as a senior leader from Maharashtra demanded that Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon’s widow Raheen be nominated to Rajya Sabha, triggering sharp reactions from the BJP, Shiv Sena and Congress.
While distancing itself from the demand, the party Saturday suspended its Maharashtra unit vice-president Mohammad Farooq Ghosi who had written to SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav requesting him to nominate “helpless” Raheen to the Upper House as she can become “the voice of the weak”.
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The party has also set in motion the process to expel Ghosi, said Abu Asim Azmi, MLA and president of Maharashtra unit of SP.
The controversy comes two days after Memon was hanged in the Nagpur Central Jail.
Facing severe backlash, Ghosi claimed that he wrote the letter in a hurry and in personal capacity. “It should not be treated as the party’s stand but my personal view. I am withdrawing the letter,” Ghosi told The Sunday Express.
“I should not have disclosed it to media,” Ghosi said, adding that he would reach Lucknow on Sunday to meet Mulayam and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to explain his stand.
Ghosi wrote the letter on July 31 and posted it to Mulayam on August 1. The party office in Lucknow, however, is yet to receive the letter.
In the letter Ghosi wrote that Raheen was in jail for many years. “How much she would have suffered…Today I find Raheen helpless,” the letter read.